Mancal director expects better ties
Over the years there has been gradual improvement in the relationship between Mancal Bank (Barbados) Inc. and Government.
And Heinrich Funk, managing director of the ten-year-old investment company, told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY he was expecting things to continue to get better both with Government and in the financial services sector.
Mancal Bank (Barbados) Inc. is a Canadian-owned, Barbados-licensed and regulated offshore bank providing discretionary wealth, investment management and corporate and trustee services to international corporations, and trust services for high-net-worth individuals.
“There are always issues trying to get certain things done at certain times but all in all, I think we have seen improvements in the understanding and relationships that the regulators have with the industry, which is a good thing. And I think, looking forward, we hope that type of movement continues,” he said.
“When we started, I think the real challenge then as a foreign-owned bank [was that] shareholders [and] stakeholders had certain expectations of time frames in getting things done. So the suggestion might be that whatever it was that you were trying to do was going to take six weeks.
“In reality it ended up taking three or four months. And for those international investors, that is not favourable.
“Over the years that has not been an uncommon problem and I think everyone has been conscious of it and attempted to try and work to resolve those problems,” explained Funk.
He was quick to point out that most of the institution’s challenges related to regulatory proceedings were based on “circumstances”.
He said due to some huge negative events around the globe, everyone was more cautious and therefore compliance had become more challenging over the years.
“I think we accept those things make sense given the circumstances . . . . I agree certain things should be done more quickly but at times you also have to appreciate that the environment is different and that is perhaps one of the reasons we can’t have them quite as fast,” he said.
Funk said that while the world continued to face a number of challenges across all sectors, he believed things would eventually improve.
“Our view is that things are gradually getting better. We still expect to see some dips, given everything that has happened over the past few years. Recovery might be relatively slow but we expect things to get better,” he said of the investment sector.